Being ‘Easter People’
I don’t know which stage of life you feel you in at this present moment?: we talk of people being in the ‘autumn’ of their lives or at the end of their days going to live in ‘Winter Heights Nursing Home’ (or some such name), or whether you feel you are in a wilderness time, struggling with ill-health, the death of a loved one or family worries.
As Christians, whatever we are feeling or whichever stage of life we feel we are in at this present-time, we are called, above all else, to be ‘Easter People’, reflecting the joy of the Risen Lord’s eternal presence with us, and living in the light of Jesus’ glorious Resurrection from the dead: that is why Christianity’s principal Holy Day is on a Sunday, the Son’s Day, the day of Jesus’ Resurrection.
Although we may not feel like it all the time, every Sunday should be an Easter Day, a Celebration, a celebration of Jesus conquering sin and death once and for all time. The early Church were attuned to the seasons and they cannily knew what they were doing when they placed Easter, Our celebration of new life, in the emerging Springtime, amongst all the new verdancy, vitality, new blossom and the warming up of the Earth.
Throughout May and Eastertide this year, we are treated to the some of the most sublime and beautiful stories Sunday by Sunday in our Bible Readings: the stories of the Risen Jesus’ encounter and re-acquaintance with his friends: we will hear Mary in the Easter Garden call Jesus ‘Rabboni’ and Jesus injunction to Mary ‘not to cling to him’; we will go with the disciples on the Road to Emmaus who exclaim that their ‘hearts burned within us as he talked to us on the road’, and whose ‘eyes were opened’ when Jesus broke the bread before them, we shall see Jesus appear to his disciples in the Upper Room, encouraging them to ‘not be afraid’ and persuading Thomas to place ‘his hands in the wounds of his hands and his sides’, we shall smell Jesus cooking fish ‘very early morning’ by the shoreside for his fisherman friends. These Easter moments are mysterious, almost mystical, encounters occurring in the haze of Spring dawn-light. There is much cantankerous talk about there being too many holidays during May, but, as C.S. Lewis would tell us, we can’t live in the winter forever, and after a very, long, cold and hard winter and relentlessly bad news for months and months people need to revel a bit in the Springtime Celebrations of Easter, Weddings, May Day, Whitsun – they are good for us all.
A very big thank you to everyone who joined in our glorious Procession through Marazion on Palm Sunday.
As a ‘Pilgrim People’ as a Benefice we will be on the move again, on Rogation Sunday, travelling from Church to Church blessing fields and crops and enjoying together God’s bountiful Creation. This will take place at the end of the month - I hope you will be able to join in with some or all of it.
As ‘Easter People’ let us enjoy and revel in Our Season of Hope, new Dawn and new Light and may we all enjoy the May-time, the flowers, the blossom and Jesus’ Risen presence with us all.
Revd Nigel Marns
Rector, The United Benefice of Mounts Bay
(Ludgvan, Marazion, St Hilary & Perranuthnoe)